Oh yes, it has only been 2.5 months since my last chemotherapy treatment, and it is still shocking and suprising and overwhelming and incredible to think that.
That many days of space between my treatment and I. (And why does it seem like a weird sort of break-up, where you look back and reflect on that relationship, assessing, analyzing, critiquing, re-living?)
It honestly does and at the same time doesn’t feel like its been that many days, that a couple of months have gone by. And I’m not sure why it feels that way either.
Even though I may have been “silent” on this blog, I have not been silent in heart, in mind, in spirit. There are still thought-battles to be had and conquered, still mental and physical rest to be had, still anxieties that shake silently the earth beneath my feet, the foundations of my mind, and I am the only one who feels these tremors. And the thought-tremors are still impacting my hands, shaking my antenna-fingers stretching and reaching signals to write, write. Although I have been silent, I have not been in thought, in writing. I’ve been journaling and taking notes on these earthquakes. Earthquakes caused by deeper understanding of truths and yes, still deeper understanding of fears. Notebooks, pen and paper recording Richter scale responses and now I’m analyzing them scientifically of the heart, of the spirit, of the mind. And yes, even my handwriting in these notebooks seem to reflect the physical-ness of the thought-quakes, hands sometimes shaking, handwriting at times more slanted, less clear, more frantic-panic scribbles as I’m trying to hold on to the structural and sturdy Truth, the place of Shelter for my soul.
Already treatment seems like a distant memory.
(It’s only been 3 weeks, mind you.)
Although chemo-brain-memory loss is real, I don’t know if I want this treatment to effect my past. And you think I would want to forget, butforgetting pain and suffering at times denies us the right and truthful perspective of life.
What is the balance of remembering pain compared to reveling in it?
I don’t want to forget Lord all of the pain, all of the moments, all of the lessons (does pain equate to lessons, lessons pain?) I actually don’t think so but at times my belief is Yes. But no really, the pain is what created the deep crack in the solid ground of my mind and unearths, errupts laval hot Truths that were always there.
Pain is the means to get to the lesson. Although the lesson at first may seem painful, it is truly the most freeing and life-giving even if it seems to at first introduce death to your soul, your thoughts. Perhaps it may kill a thought or two of your that was seemingly fierously and passionately dancing as a tornado-storm-thought along the plains of your mind—itself so beautiful, appealing and yet destructive. And yet these truth-lessons make my tornado-thoughts seem so powerless and small.
I visited the hospital today for the first time since being done with treatment. It has been a little over 3 weeks since I’ve been here, since I’ve walked through the large, automatic glass doors and taken in the colorful nature scenery.
It’s only been 3 weeks since my last chemo, and apparently that makes a world of difference.
I look different but in a good way, a “you look so good” way that multiple staff members at NCH comment and compliment.
(Does 3 weeks off really have made that much of a difference? Are you sure its not my make-up?)
How much of my inward is reflected in my outward? And yet, they can’t see my spirit-soul and how many changes have been made there.
And maybe that is what you are seeing in my eyes, these spirit-soul changes that are rimmed around golden-pink sunset eye shadow. The blue iris’ reflecting back the heavens, the gifts of grace from the heavens—the release and freedom from anxieties and self pressures and yes, the physical drug of chemo-anxiousness being drip-drained from my body.
Looking out onto the lake, I see my brother-trees are also transitioning. Season-between-season, the beginnings of some of their leaves changing color, a copper-gold, shimmering here in this distance as I stand, admiring.
Looking down at myself, Bible in lap, pen/notebook in hand, I see myself transitioning (I am mirroring nature—nature mirroring me.) Our creator is changing us both in these seasons, season-in-between-season. Lake reflecting our image, our changes back to us.
You are changing me God, creating within me the copper-gold leaves of faith, faith more precious than gold itself.
1 peter 1
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honorwhen Jesus Christ is revealed.
I’m still transitioning. I have to remind myself often.
Only a month ago you were just finishing up treatments. (You think I wouldn’t have to remind myself of that one and yet ungratitude like soil covers up the buried treasure of memories.)
I still pass out—not as often—but come home from a normal day of errands, blink, and I’m asleep. And other days it feels like I’m reverting all over again, rewind to before 3rd relapse, anxious mind, anxious heart about every detail of life.
I’m still anxious at times.
My heart-in-transition screams, “I can’t live like this on my own!”
And He’s yelling/whispering back at me: “Yes, you are right. You cannot live on your own.”
See, chemo-less body and brain give you fake confidence, false pride in self, confidence that this is your life, you can do it. Body feels so good so why not? There is so much more power in this flesh than before.
I can’t though live on my own. I’m learning that, oh yes, pride is its own cancer, its own self-destructive selfish cells to the soul. Pride is actually harmful and not aidign and strengthening me as I actually once thought.
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
I’ve been climbing it seems and learning and trying to absorb all of this scenery. This is life post-treatment—no longer in the midst of endless dark forrests of chemo paths and chemo brain dead-end trails.
There is now a stable, steady platform at the bottom of my heart that is rising, errecting, being built upon. I can feel its foundations.
This is faith: faith of gold, it’s anchor for the soul (hebrews 6:19)
Its firmness grounds me. Its stability as sure as the path and earth underneath my feet. This is the faith that is not fleeting or a feeling. Its an assured hope, a hope that knows, a confidence arrival of so much more good to come, an eternal good that is unearthly, otherworldly, that will remain stable unlike the cells of this finite and tempory body.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”